Difficult test for leaders Balzan

Leaders Balzan will be aiming at maintaining the top spot in the BOV Premier League as they take on Floriana in one of four matches in programme on Sunday.

Hibernians try to keep the pace with the leaders or even move top as they face Mosta, Hamrun Spartans take on Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers meet neighbours Gzira United.

Hamrun Spartans vs Birkirkara, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
Following a shock 0-3 defeat to St. Andrews in the FA Trophy, Birkirkara will be all out to bounce back as they take on a Hamrun side who returned to winning ways last week with a 2-0 win over rivals Gzira after losing the previous two games. The Stripes defeated Tarxien 3-1 in the last league game after two draws in the previous outings.

Birkirkara could not count on the suspended Joseph Zerafa and Srdjan Dimitrov. Hamrun, on the other hand, should be in full strength.

In the first round, Birkirakra defeated Hamrun 2-1.

Balzan vs Floriana, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
After beating Pembroke 4-0 last week, Balzan will be aiming for another win on Sunday as they take on Floriana in order to make sure of retaining top spot. However this will be no easy task as the Greens are coming from a positive run of six matches – winning four of the games, including last week’s 4-1 win over St. Andrews.

Bruno Giglio de Oliveira and Christian Cassar will be back from suspension for Balzan but Paul Fenech and Justin Grioli are still recovering from injuries. Floriana, on the other hand, will be without the suspended Maurizio Vella and Mario Fontanella.

Balzan defeated Floriana 1-0 in the first round.

Sliema Wanderers vs Gzira United, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Sliema Wanderers will be aiming at returning to winning ways after losing their last two league games to Valletta and Hibernians although they defeated Mosta 3-2 in the FA Trophy. The Maroons are desperate for points after losing the last six matches, including last week’s 0-2 defeat to Hamrun.

Gzira could not count on the injured Moises Avila Perez while Sliema should be in full strength.

The Maroons beat Sliema 1-0 in the first round.

Mosta vs Hibernians, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Hibernians hope to stretch their unbeaten run to nine matches with a sixth consecutive win as they take on Mosta who failed to win any of the last seven matches but held Valletta in a draw in their last league outing. Both teams were involved the FA Trophy third round with Hibs losing 2-3 after extra-time to First Division side Senglea Athletic while Mosta lost 2-3 to Sliema.

Bjorn Kristensen and Jackson Lima are suspended while Clayton Failla is injured. Adrian Caruana and Dexter Xuereb are ruled out through suspension for Mosta.

In the first round, Hibs defeated Mosta 3-1.